The Book of Johannes
“More and more, this family is beginning to resemble a Greek tragedy.”
spoken by Tiberius Caesar in I, Claudius
Part One – Triumph
"Is it time, father?"
"No, my son, not yet."
"Is it time, father?"
"No, my son, not yet.”
"Is it time, father?"
"Yes, my son, Armageddon . . . is now."
Satan's eyes opened wide as he heard the rusted chains start to move again after one thousand years. The cold metal ceiling of his prison room slowly withdrew. A narrow shaft of light pierced the darkness around him and then grew wider and wider. He was blinded until his pupils narrowed and he could see again.
His lieutenants gathered round him.
"It's time for battle, my lord."
"Yes, Beelzebub, it is."
Another said, "It's a trap, my lord. Do not go. Stay here."
"Of course it's a trap. And I know we'll lose. That's my father's plan. What he doesn't know is that by sealing my fate, he seals his own as well."
He paused for a moment and looked at his angels who had followed him for seemingly eons of time. Not one flinched. Each looked him in the eye. He smiled.
"Have no fear, my brothers. Though the end is cast, I promise it will be glorious. Now gird yourselves for battle. There is work to do."
A mighty shout rang out as the dark lord and his angels poured up from their prison and turned towards New Jerusalem, the City of God.
"Come, my army," cried Satan. "This is the final rebellion!"
The horde reached the shining city, its vast walls shimmering with amethysts, sapphires and emeralds. All manner of precious stones were used in the foundation's supporting walls of jasper and, surmounting them, the towers of the city were purest gold. Each gate was a single pearl and through the gates were seen streets of gold.
On the plains before the city were gathered the multitudes of the nations of the four corners of the earth, numerous as the sands of the sea, all ready to fight in Satan's name. A path cleared through them as Satan came to the front of the army, at the very base of the city's foundations. He looked at the walls towering above him, then turned back to his people.
"Today is our chance for revenge!" he shouted. His words were met with thunderous shouts in return. "This is the end of time as we know it. Do yourselves justice!"
Swords, shields and all manner of weapons were raised in hand, claw, talon and tentacle.
"Forward!" he shouted. "Forward to glory!"
They pressed forward to the unguarded gates when a streak of lightning split the sky and a single voice, louder than Satan's army, reached them from on high.
"Stop, my brother!" said the voice. "You go too far!"
Satan looked up. "Come, Jesus, Father's favorite, let the game begin!"
Lord Jesus was in his chariot hitched to flying steeds, holding them in with his reins, At a word they descended through space; liquid fire shooting from the revolving wheels fell on Satan's army. The fire burned and charred; flesh, skin, scales, and feathers melted at touch of the flame and a terrifying shriek rent the sky. The very ground turned into flames and the army, Satan and all, sank into the lake of fire.
Then the dead stood before the white throne of God the Father and the Book of Life was opened and the dead were judged by their acts. Whomever was not in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. Even death and hell were cast into the lake. Then God the Father raised his hand and winds whipped the flames of the lake into whirlwinds that raced around the planet, consuming every object, every tree, every house, every bird, every deer, everything, totally. The flames reached even to Heaven itself, which was also consumed and Heaven and earth were purified by fire.
When the last embers died, the renewed Heaven opened and the untouched New Jerusalem descended to the reborn earth, verdant as on the dawn of creation: green forests, fertile plains, skies filled with birds, seas with fish, meadows with animals. And in the middle was the City of God, and in that city was God the Son, illuminating the city from his own light without need of sun. And there was no more darkness. Christ Jesus lived among his people as lord. The River of Life flowed from his throne. Its waters nourished the Tree of Life, which healed the nations, and nothing defiled that place where the Lamb ruled forever and ever.